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English Courts Deny Kentucky Jurisdiction in Online Gambling Case

Even while the Kentucky online gambling domain case sits before the state Supreme Court, the English High Court has ruled that Kentucky's seizure order, if upheld, still carries no weight in the UK.

The Kentucky Supreme Court is still deliberating the merits of the state's case concerning its attempted seizure of 141 online gambling sites' domain names, but another court has already released a ruling. The English High Court decided on October 16th that domain name registrar Safenames and its client, online poker operator Pocket Kings, are not liable to any Kentucky verdict.

Judge Michael Furness found that English law prohibits a foreign government from enforcing a law that is governmental or penal by nature in areas of English jurisdiction. The court also ruled that its decision was by nature pre-emptive, to allow the continuing of operations by Pocket Kings, in which the online gambling domain name plays a central part.

This judgment establishes that, even if the unlikely event occurs that the Kentucky justices rule with the state, the enforceability of the order could very well end at US borders. Foreign registrars will be within legally established rights to ignore a seizure without jurisdiction, and online gambling sites cannot be held accountable to a seizure order in this case.

"We are glad to have provided assistance in the clarification and determination of the order’s unenforceability in the United Kingdom and effective nullification of the Kentucky Court Order," says a statement released by Safenames.

The UK verdict is consistent with legal opinions from across the US and around the world, which have assailed the Kentucky forfeiture case for ignoring the logical precedent, that any jurisdiction can shut down a worldwide Internet business for being available online in that locality. Online gambling industry reps have allied with libertarians and Internet freedom groups to protest the Kentucky action.

Published on October 27, 2009 by JoshuaMcCarthy

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Recent Comments

Posted by: Gamer221When: 10/28/2009 07:47:06 AM EST
Looks like Safenames have lost but won at the same time whereas PKL must be delighted to have their registrar confirm that their domain names will not be transferred. This is a great peace of mind for online gaming companies, that is if they partner with the Safenames.